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"hardball" starts right now. advise and consent. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with simple, undeniable facts. the president of the united states has the right and duty to select the secretary of state, the person he thinks will best help him shape and project this country's foreign policy. just as important, the senate
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has the duty to advise and consent to his decision. if senators see a serious problem with a nominee, they have a right and dao ut to spike and vote that way. someone keeps telling the press that president obama prefers to nominate u.n. ambassador susan rice and as long as that person is not the president and does so under ground rules that praekt his or her identity, we are condemned to this preventative war we're watching in washington. one side attacking while no one outside the gates of the white house know what is the president intends. i take president obama at his official word. he has not decided whose name to send to the senate and with that we go to the first of our two senatorial guests. senator bob corker, republican of tennessee. senator corker, i have laid it out as best i can. you senators have a right and a duty to decide, to advise and consent or not, to a president's nominee. isn't this strange that we're having the debate about the qualifications for a candidate for the secretary of state position and she hasn't been nominated?
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>> i think it is, and, you know, as i mentioned yesterday, whoever the president does nominate, i certainly look forward to giving a full hearing. i don't actually know how this is, you know, gotten this way. i had a long meeting yesterday with the ambassador, and, i mean, you would have to say there's a lot of indications that at least there's some balloon floating that's taking place -- >> yeah, there is. >> i don't think otherwise she would have spent an hour and a half with me yesterday and an hour and 15 minutes with susan collins and others. you're right, she's not nominated, but it does appear something is happening to just sort of gauge support. >> let me show you a piece of what the ambassador of the you know, susan rice, said on "meet the press" on september 16th, five days after the attack on our facility in benghazi. i think it's the heart of the critique. >> putting to the the best information we have available to us today, our current assessment
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is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo which were prompted, of course, by the video. what we think then transpired in benghazi is that opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. >> so there you have it. what do you think about that and what role does that statement by her make in the concern about her qualifications? >> yeah. you know, chris, one of the things that's amplified some of the concerns around this is we had a classified briefing with about 65 or 70 senators on september the 20th, and i assure you if you were there, you would have thought it was most of the one bizarre briefings ever where we had four, you know, distinguished people there who shared like no information. i was in libya about a week after that. it was a preplanned trip.
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i didn't go there because of benghazi. obviously benghazi was a big topic, and i sat there with our station chief, our head intelligence person who was there serving after the ambassador had been killed and they were telling me that in real time they were letting folks back home know that this, in fact, was a terrorist attack and there was absolutely no protest. so you can see how people have had concerns. i think really and in talking to ambassador rice yesterday, we had a very long meeting, you know, one of the things that she knows she shouldn't have said was that we have decimated al qaeda, and i know that you know this because you're a student of what's happening in the world, but certainly nothing can be further from the truth. so i do think there have been some fairly legitimate concerns that this was all in the height of a political campaign, and it really did appear that she was very anxious to make it appear
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that things were a little different in the middle east than they are. look, we can all get caught up in that and certainly we had a conversation to that effect yesterday, but i will tell you as a person, i think you asked me to come on because i hope you think i'm fairly level-headed. i'm really disgusted with everything from the intelligence to the security to, you know, the fbi -- i mean, this whole thing really should not be where it is today, and i do think that part of it is she's gotten caught up in some of the other things that -- although i have concerns and you have heard my concerns. i do feel like -- >> let's narrow them down, senator. you're concerned she said it was a spontaneous uprising by, as we've seen, in karachi and in cairo on that day. it was just part of the general outrage against the video that came out of los angeles and you say it definitely wasn't and the
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people at the time knew it wasn't. >> chris, i don't even want to get -- it's actually beyond that. i like susan rice. she knows i like her. we've had a warm relationship. i think that she strikes me sometimes as more of a political operative than somebody who is -- you know, the secretary of state we hold to a very different standard. we do that with the secretary of treasury. sometimes the secretary of defense. they're sort of first among equals of other cabinet members, and i think that most of us want to see a degree of independence. i want you to know i'm not disqualifying her, okay? i'm telling you that certainly if she is nominated, i am going to give her a full hearing. i always do that -- >> let me put that in language we use here. you don't see here as a principle. you see her as an ally or an associate the president rather than as a principal separate
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from him? is that the way you're trying to say it? >> chris, in all the conversations i've had with her, you always feel it's sort of pushing a political point of view. when i have those same conversations with secretary clinton, i feel -- she's always supportive obviously of the president's agenda, but it's a different sense of transparency and directness and pointing out, you know, things we need to be thinking about, and i'm not saying that ambassador rice in that position couldn't end up being that way, but initially my sense of her is, and we had this very direct conversation yesterday for about 30 minutes, is i do -- i have always sensed her to be more of a political operative. i know she's steeped in policy and has spent lots of time in africa and i don't take that away from her, but i do have some concerns, again, if she's nominated, i'm going to give her a full hearing and i promise you
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it will be a fair full hearing. >> i take you at your word, senator. it's great for you to come on. a very clear point of view you've given us. thank you for joining us an "hardball." yesterday i spoke with senator susan collins who also had concerns about ambassador rice. >> it's obvious she chose to emphasize some aspects and downplay others, and, frankly, i think the u.n. ambassador along with the secretary of state should be above politics and that she should have just said, no, i'm not going to go on those shows. it's the wrong issue and the wrong time of year. i've got to maintain my credibility. >> okay. joining us right now is kent conrad, senator from north dakota. i guess you heard those views. what are your views on the issues raised on the an tagistic side? >> first of all, i have high
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regard for senator corker and senator collins but there are others who have been strident voices against the ambassador that have been terribly unfair to her. what she said on those sunday talk shows was precisely what the intelligence community agreed to unanimously would be the unclassified version of events. it is entirely appropriate for the ambassador to rely on the intelligence community for what she says in public. what was said in a classified report would have been totally inappropriate for her to talk about on those sunday talk shows. so she is being pilloried and criticized for doing precisely what she should have done, which was to use the intelligence community's unclassified assessment of what occurred. >> well, they make the point, i've listened to all the
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complaints about her, the more dignified and the less dignified ones, and their argument seems to be she went on as a flack, if you will. a press secretary. someone went on to basically spin it so the president would look good. that his arguments over the last several months of the campaign would look good. that we've basically decimated al qaeda, that it wasn't an organized terrorist attack, it was a spontaneous attack, and they say she emphasized more of the spontaneity of it and the relationship to that video coming out of los angeles and de-emphasized the role of organized terrorism here. is that a fair criticism or is that something that comes with the territory of speaking for the white house? >> i don't think it's fair. look, i'm on the intelligence committee, and there's a lot that we can't talk about that goes on there, but what is very clear is the intelligence community has said with great clarity and with unanimity that the talking points she used were the talking points provided to her by the intelligence committee of the united states,
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that they provided those talking points after consultation with all of the agencies, and they were the unclassified talking points which is precisely what any ambassador, any representative of the united states should use. not the classified talking points that might reveal things critically important to national security. >> two questions, can you tell us without giving away the names of the people involved, is there a personal vendetta at work here from some of the senators? a personal vendetta against the person of the u.n. ambassador here, susan rice, and/or is there a surrogate attack against the president who has just been re-elected by people who are embittered by the fact? >> i think it's people who are embittered by the re-election of the president and i think she's caught in the cross hire and i think she's caught in it in a completely unfair way. she suessed the talking points provided to her and not just to her, those were the talking points prepared by a request
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from the house intelligence committee. that's who the intelligence community was responding to. she got a copy of those comments and those are the ones she used, which was entirely appropriate for her to do. >> we'll have to have you back, senator, to talk about something i know you're good on, that's the fiscal cliff. i want to have you on because i trust in you. thank you, kent conrad. coming up, hot new evidence the republicans have learned nada, nothing, from the election they just lost. yesterday you saw the all-white republican chairmanships in the house of representatives. today's story, the marquee name for the republican party next year ken cuccinelli, a real winger. . wait until you catch his decisions on all kinds of issues affecting women, immigrants, everybody. this is the full monty of the right wing coming up in this election for governor of virginia. we'll be right back.
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well, you can add another victory for the democrats in the congressional races. in the house of representatives in north carolina's 7th district, david do you seer has conceded to mike mcintire. democrats have won a net game of eight seats and they're strategizing on how to win the next net 17 they need to take over in the 2014 midterms, although it must be said it's very hard for the party controlling the white house to win either body over in that midterm election. we'll be right back. ♪ don't kno ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take up to an extra 15 percent off storewide, now through wednesday.
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welcome back to "hardball." it appears republicans have learned few, if any, lessons from the election they just had. and as we said last night, a party that losted overwhelmingly among women, latinos, and african-americans will have house chairmen that all look like those guys. now, the chief strategist of romney's campaign stu stevens is describing why he lost. he wrote in "the washington post" today, quote, there was a time not so long ago when the problems of the democratic party
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revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory. but he was a chair ris mat i can african-american president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted boo being critical. how easy is that to replicate? in other words, the election was an anomaly giving republicans little reason to worry in the future. this morning stevens said mitt romney's ideas were right on as he puts it. he's getting cool, he's right on in his tooking. let's listen. >> i think that the ideas carried the day for us and that success that we had, though it obviously wasn't enough to win the race, was based on the candidate mitt romney and on his ideas. >> well, using that 6 '60s language of right on he isn't quite. he continued the outreach was the campaign's problem not necessarily the message. let's listen here. >> i think we should have done a better job reaching out to women
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voters. the governor has a great record on women's issues. we should have done a better job articulating that record. we should have done a better job reaching out to hispanic voters. we should have done it earlier and in a more effective way. >> michael steele is former chair of the republican national committee back in the days they won elections like this. howard fineman is editorial director of "the huffington post." you know what the british imperialist used to do when somebody who spoke another language couldn't understand them, they yelled louder. and then someone said i still can't understand you. here is the theory it's a failure to communicate. your thoughts. >> that's just the tip of the iceberg there. yeah, it was a failure to communicate. you can sit back now and say we would have, should have, could have, but along the way guys like howard, you, myself within the party were saying thises what you should be doing. you need to -- >> but i'm not with your party. >> no, but there were moments
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where you were slightly objective in this process and in which you were -- >> what a sweetheart. >> you were very clear, and i think all of us were clear that there were communication gaps, but it was more than that, chris, and i think it was organization, it was ground game, it was -- >> let's take the easy stuff. immigration. this immigration thing is new to a lot of us. it's a big development in this country. a lot of people are undocumented, a lot of people from latin america, not all certainly, and they believed their interests laid with the democratic candidate, the president. >> i know stuart well, i have covered him in many campaigns. when he's not in a campaign, he's a very broad gauge guy. >> i got it. >> in the cockpit, he's different it seems based on these comments in particular. >> how about after a crash? >> because reaching out -- because reaching out means or should mean talking to them about -- the voters about issues
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they care about in the ways that they find appealing. what mitt romney's problems was, say, with the hispanic community was, especially in the primaries, mitt romney came on as the hard core guy who wanted people to self-deport or get gone. the way that sounded to -- evidently it sounded to 71% of hispanic voters who supported barack obama was we don't want to hear the republican candidate whose main platform is about getting us to take ourselves and leave the country. that's the reaching out that was wrong, not the mechanics, not the ground game, not that they didn't advertise on hispanic radio, which they didn't do in the first six months or television. those are just mechanical thing. it's a matter of substance. >> last republican president proved it. he was very good on hispanic issues. tried a little spanish. he had a good fellowship there.
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>> if he had more time to talk to stuart stevens and have a discussion with him, i think he'd agree with that. >> already here we are in the potomac river right between virginia and maryland and we got the biggest race -- that's why we talk about virginia and new jersey. it's going to be the governor's race which will lm pit the state's far right attorney general ken cuccinelli against terry mcauliffe, a real clinton guy. it can set the template for republican candidates in 2014 and beyond. those candidates will watch to see how an extreme candidate like cuccinelli, who is a very conservative guy, does in virginia, a state that votes most like the rest of the country and has now twice voted for barack obama. how extreme is cuccinelli? he reports personhood, the moment after conception, the fetus or unborn child has the rights of life, liberty, and property and that gets serious business. his own website uses the harsh language on immigration. ken is committed to solutions that remove the economic
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incentives that encourage i will lyle immigration, illegal aliens who choose to break additional laws by stealing identities, dealing drugs, joining criminal gangs, driving without a license, or committing fraut must receive prompt justice and deportation. no ifs, ands, or buts. i'd say that was clear. he also -- he altered the virginia state seal for modesty. notice that woman is a bit more french than her display but he says he wanted to make sure that bare breast was removed from the goodess of virtue. small point. when cuccinelli had lapel pins made the gozess' breast was covered. small point. he discussed concerns about getting a social security number for a soon to be born child. he was wondering whether he should get a social security number because of concerns for black helicopters. >> we're going to have our seventh child on monday if he's not born before, and for the
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very concerns you state, we're actually considering, as i'm sure many of you here didn't get a social security number when you were born. you had to do it now. we're considering not doing that. and a lot of people are considering that now because it is being used to track you. >> this is crazy. this is the kind of black helicopter, the government, they're coming to get you, in your house. we're going to register all the guns, come get -- who is he appealing to in virginia there in your party? >> well, there is clearly in the southern and western portions of virginia, certainly not northern virginia, you know, some of that rhetoric. >> he's running for governor. >> this is my point. it's going to be interesting to see -- i campaigned with and for cuccinelli when he ran before in 2009, and he and the lieutenant governor bowling both very good men and it's going to be interesting sort of --
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>> hell of a race. >> remember the primary is the conventi convention, not on anticipate primary. you will have a great push by conservatives, by other republicans in the party between bolling and -- >> i think -- >> lieutenant governor bolling has basically said i'm out of here. ear not going to take part in this process. he's talking about -- >> projected nationally what does it say about -- >> i think it's a laboratory experiment to see if the tea party, if the right to lifers, if the radical anti-government people, if the grover norquist wing of anti-taxers can win an election or not, and virginia is a great test. it's now a swing state that they should, republicans should be able to win with the right kind of message. they didn't win it. a quote liberal won it according to stuart stevens. what does that tell you? can the real hard core right wing win a statewide election with a guy like cuccinelli? >> that will be the test.
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>> that will be the test. and they may be up against terry mcauliffe, the democrat who represents everything about the clinton/obama democratic party that the people in southside virginia can't stand, that they don't like. let's see -- >> he's a classic northern virginia guy. he works in washington. he's a bedroom community guy. which is fair enough but they don't like it. >> and i think howard is exactly right. this is going to be a real dynamic test for the gop on the national level, not just for virginia, but how -- >> guess who else is going to be -- his wife perhaps. bill clinton will be in there campaigning. showing he's still got the chops. >> nobody has raised more money i don't think in the history the planetcauliffe. >> and we have cory booker running -- >> both of these are within easy traveling distance of this desk which make it is great. >> going to take the train or the car? >> i don't know. the mobile "hardball" mobile.
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>> a cuccinelli far right? >> cuccinelli is a conservative individual. >> he's a far right guy. thank you. kid get his gun right after conception or not? property rights. anyway, thank you michael steele and howard fineman. up next, remember that guy who got the romney campaign logo tattooed on his face. he's having a bad case of buyer's remorse. he's thinking about giving back romney. that's ahead and this is "hardball," the place for politics. okay, now here's our holiday gift list. aww, not the mall. well, i'll do the shopping... if you do the shipping.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." vice president joe biden made a surprise visit at the grand opening of washington, d.c.'s new costco this morning, and he reminds shoppers about the fiscal cliff whale he's at it. >> in all honesty, i didn't have my own card. jill wouldn't let me have one. i went to get my wife's card and she said, no, no, no, you get
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your own. all the people you meet in here today and you see, these are hard-working folks who don't need to see their taxes go up. >> that's one way to create opening day buzz although it looks like watching this scene everybody was more interested in watching the vice president do his own shopping there. also, why are people receiving this fund-raising e-mail from bill clinton? quote, i've enjoyed it so much whenever we've brought one of hillary's strongest supporters to new york to spend a day with ming i'm happy to tell you that i've asked to do it again. this is not the launch of a 2016 campaign? secretary clinton's 2008 campaign still owes $70,000 and they're trying to pay it off. just weeks after galvanizing the country for president obama, big bill is back there working his fan base again offering donors the chance to spend time with him. next, remember when georgia congressman paul brawn braun
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offered this account of how old the earth is? >> there's a lot of scene tisk data that i found out as a scientist that shows this is really a young earth. i don't think the oert is 9,000 years old. >> browne is not alone. when marco rubio was asked about the age of a planet in a recent interview, he dodged it saying i'm not a scientist, man. now televangelist pat robertson of all people is weighing in but not in a way you might expect. we're going to have pat robison back. pat robertson saying the earth is very, very old. we should believe the artifacts and the paleontology. final a real about face for the guy who had the romney campaign logo tattooed on his face before the election in exchange for a $5,000 payment. when romney lost, he said he was keeping the tattoo anyway.
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then he got caught wind of romney saying the president won the re-election by giving gifts to minority voters. now he says, quote, it stands not only for a losing campaign but for a sore loser. there's no dignity in blaming somebody else for buying votes and paying off people. i can't get behind that or stay behind that. well, a tattoo removal chain offered to remove the tattoo for free and hartsburg is taking them up on it. they are predicting it will take seven to ten laser removal sessions to get rid of the whole thing. hartsburg says he will be more choosey about future political that toots. republicans know they are stuck between grover norquist no tax pledge and knowing they will be blamed if they go off the fiscal cliff. that's ahead. and you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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hampton pearson with your cnbc market wrap. the dow gains 36 points, the s&p is up 6, the nasdaq adds 20 points. it was a rough day for retailers, especially tiffany. shares slid 6% following a weaker than expected earnings report and disappointing guidance. as for the economy, it grew to 2.7 annual rate in the third quarter. and jobless claims fell by 23,000 last week, the second weekly decline since hurricane sandy. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now back to "hardball." back to "hardball." let's take making a deal here for all that at home who want to see republicans and democrats work together to avoid the fiscal cliff, we can bring you two lawmakers who are open to cutting a deal before the end of
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the year. with me are members from both sides of the aisle u.s. congressman lee tori, a republican from nebraska, and u.s. congressman jerry conley a democrat from nearby southern virginia. but first, i want to start with you. you told the omaha world herald this about republicans, we're screwed either way we have no leverage in these discussions. congressman, what did you mean by that? >> what i mean by that is that the president wants us to take a tax vote before he's willing to talk about anything else cutting or reforming, and republicans just aren't going to do that. so what he's doing is setting us up to be the fall people for going over the fiscal cliff. frankly, going over the fiscal cliff is a win for the president. so either way we're going to get it. >> but i don't see why that's true because -- first of all, the president has talked around what kind of cuts he wants to do in nondefense discretionary and about a third of a tral dollars
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in ten years of entitlements. he's talked along those lines. if he doesn't give you a definition and details by the time you go to vote, obviously you won't vote for it. what's your risk? he's got to get in the pot, too, with his part of the deal. well before the end of the year. >> yeah, i think he wins by playing the political games because -- >> what game? >> you've met -- well, the setting up -- saying that we have to take a tax vote before he's even willing to discuss anything else. >> you said he wants to vote on that without the package being prepared. >> well, that's right. he wants us -- he said that the other day, that he wants us to take that tax vote to prove our sincerity. well, i'll tell you what. if he comes with a big package that does raise revenues, a lot of us are going to vote for that if it's good enough. >> i disagree with the president. i'm with you on that then. look, if he wants a separate vote, i agree with him -- i agree with you guys because i think -- let me ask you from your point of view, would you
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agree for high income people above a quarter million a year, would you vote for a 38% marginal rate? would you accept something like that as a compromise with something perhaps a higher cap on medicare payments? would you accept something like that? >> i think those are all part of the discussion here, and we'll be open to a lot of different things as long as we get the big deal on this, that we make those type of reforms. i'd rather see tax reform than just saying we're going to increase the rate on the top level from -- >> i know you would. >> -- 35 to 38. >> that won't work. the liberals will never deal with you unless you raise the rates. they want to see the bite marks on your neck. they want to know you guys defending the rich will pay a price before they will pay. the pelosi core of the democratic party will not deal if the president doesn't get a rise in the rates for rich 350e78. >> we feel the same way about them. we don't trust they will have ernest discussions about tax cuts -- i'm sorry -- about real spending cuts, and so setting --
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>> let me bring in mr. -- >> just isn't going to work. >> i don't know about this game of who is first. somebody is going to have to go first. let me ask you plshtion conley, how do you react to what he's saying there, first of all? that make it is simple? >> well, i certainly can understand congressman terry's concern, but i think the election is over. the president won the election, and there weren't a lot of explicits in this campaign, but one that there was was the president explicitly saying, i was at three rallies with him in virginia, i think the better off the higher income tax brackets ought to pay a little bit to help us with this fiscal cliff. he campaigned and won on that premise. public opinion polling shows the public is with him on that. let's get beyond the campaigning, let's get beyond the name calling and try to settle that so that the 98% whose taxes will stay low can
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stay low. >> let me ask you both if you agree on this. the importance of getting this done before christmas and not letting this go slinking off beyond january 1st. you first, mr. terry. >> yeah, i want to get this done, and i think the people want us to get this done. so i don't want to punt it. i don't want to push it into next year. let's get the discussions rolling, let's get the big deal done. that's what the people want us to do. >> well, i hope you can get your business community behind you because they're the unlikely allies of the president here. it's tom donohue and the -- >> they want it done. >> i know. they have to get republicans to vote for a deal early. will the liberals vote for anything unless they get a rise in the tax for the top people? >> well, really, i can only speak for myself, chris, but my sense of the caucus is there are strong feelings about protecting entitlements from depredations on the other side and they want to be very clear about the
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details, but i think there's also a willingness to work with the president and support the president in his leadership in averting the fiscal cliff and i agree with mr. terry, we want to get this done before the end of the year so that we're not roiling markets, not disrupting people's planning for the next calendar year, and we're not having anybody's taxes go up in the middle class. >> let me get the timing right plshtion terry. you're in the majority. are you being advised by your whips there are going ton tough votes right near christmas eve or some coming back after christmas before the 31st in some crazy christmas week chaos? in other words are you being advised the big votes will come before christmas? >> our leadership and our conference has said there hasn't been any substantive discussions and so we don't know when this is going to be over. >> well, that's not very heartening. >> no, it isn't. >> i'm watching the stock market -- you know what i'm told by my financial adviser and i
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trust him completely, dan saunders up there in new york, he probably loves me mentioning his name. he says that the market right now which is back to the 13,000, the dow today, good news, is based on the confidence that you professionals can put a deal together before new year's. in other words, it's all based on that. it's ice we're on right now, thin ice. do i understand you have to get this done in time and if you don't the markets will be completely screwed up by this worldwide? your thoughts? who wants to talk about that one. mr. connolly. >> i'll be glad to comment on that. i'm a little more opt stick than my colleague. i think a deal is sort of cooking. i think the parameters of that deal are not mysterious. i don't think this involves rocket science in putting it together. it requires political consensus. i think there are a lot of trial balloons going on on the republican side of the aisle to try to build that consensus and i think once that happens we're going to get it done. if we have to be here christmas week in order to protect the american public from the fiscal
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cliff, i'm happy to be here and so are my colleagues. >> i hope everybody speaks greek because that would be the appropriate language to use the week after christmas. thank you. get it done before christmas. thank you u.s. congressman litery, thank you so much for coming. thank you congressman connolly. up next, president obama had mitt romney over for lunch at the white house. do you believe it? i'd love to know what happened in that room. it's the latest edition in the often frosty relationship between the presidential rival. it was pretty worm for about an hour on election night. this is "hardball," the place for politics. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf.
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we're back. they may not be friends but today for an hour mitt romney and barack obama had lunch together meeting in the oval office and dining over turkey chili and southwestern grilled chicken salad. two poultry dishes in one meal in what's become a custom in recent presidential history. the white house says they spoke of america's leadership, but also noted the two men would keep contact should they be able to work together again. perhaps a sign of things to come, maybe. the relationship between presidents and the men they beat is a tricky one. sometimes it develops into a warm friendship and sometimes not so much. boston globe political reporter matt adviser is here he was at the white house reporting on that lunch and lts presidential historian douglas brinkley, my pal, whose most recent book, great book, "cronkite." let me start with matt. we knew this was coming. the president said he wanted to do it, and there is a tradition of burying the hatchet. what else got done? did that get done?
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did they bury the hatchet? >> it was a symbolic moment that seems mostly symbolic. that doesn't appear to be much substance that came out of the meeting. you had romney driving up in the black suv -- he didn't drive, he was in the passenger side, but all alone -- nobody to open the door for him. >> how democratic. >> nobody opened the door inaug built in the background. >> no secret service? >> no secret service for romney. in fact, i think he had to provide his name and date of birth and social security -- >> no. >> yeah. just like anybody else. >> rbt they sweethearts, gate nazis. the president offered up a possible see of working together with former governor mitt romney. let's listen in. >> there may be ideas that he has with respect to jobs and growth that can help middle class families that i want to hear. so, you know, i'm not either
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prejudging what he's interested in doing nor am i suggesting i've got some specific assignment. but what i want to do is get ideas from him and see if there's some ways that we can potentially work together. >> doug brinkley, what do you make of this? is this a beginning of a great relationship like casa greensboro ka? >> i don't think so. there are times when presidents feel compelled to beat somebody to get them in the game. fdr did that when world war ii was coming, we're all in this together. he also brought in frank knox, secretary of navy and henry stinson, secretary of war. you've got moments, richard nixon offered an olive branch to the bambassador of the u.n. until mitt romney was the
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ex-president, an exclusive president's club but i don't see a blue ribbon commission of mitt romney heading right now and i don't see romney teaming up with due kdukakis and doing a report. world war ii vets had a a lot of love and respect on capitol hill. >> the interesting thing is, there have been relationships that didn't get too functional but carter got along with jerry ford very well. george w.'s father, george senior got along with clinton. called him practically a son. >> you can't imagine that happening with obama and romney. >> they don't like each other. we saw that in the debate. >> why do people -- you covered the campaign. this is not partisan. it's just an objects vague. why does everybody who runs against romney hate him?
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the rest of them, they walk off the debate platforms and hate the guy. >> i think it's the issue of a core and having a political core and consistent belief and obama likes to have a legal argument that fits together and romney's ideology doesn't do that. so i think there's not that kind of respect. >> do they think he's not a member of the club because he doesn't have a political philosophy. not just to be celebrities but to carry out a motive. they believe he lacks one and can't get along with other politicians who often seem to have a motive? >> bingo, chris. i think that's very true. and he doesn't have a job, either, mitt romney. >> well, you don't need a job if you're worth $250 billion. >> no, but john mccain still had his senate seat. mitt romney didn't carry massachusetts, california, or his home state and there's no
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such thing as a romney republic anymore. he doesn't have any power. so he's coming today obama looked good because he's sticking out his hand and shows a spirit of bipartisanship that he's trying to create throughout all of this gridlock. >> matt, are they still stunned? i have to tell you, i watch this stuff from 7:00 until midnight. i'm constantly trying to figure this thing out. i thought it was much more pro-obama. he won a very solid victory and mandate. are they still stunned by that? >> yeah. in some respects, they are, to grapple with what happened and how their expectations got so high. >> stu stevens thinks that. we're all trying to figure that out. what happened here? >> i think there is a bit of that. and rahm himself, the data guy, going through the numbers trying to figure out what happened himself. i think he will be doing that for a while. i think he still thinks about this an awful lot. >> doug brinkley, author of the
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great book, "cronkite." it's a good history of recent american history going all the way back to world war ii. it's a great book. anyway, we'll be right back. doug brinkley, matt viser, from the great boston globe. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ if it wasn't for you ♪ don't know what i'd do ♪ i'd have nothing to prove ♪ i'd have nothing to lose [ male announcer ] zales is the diamond store. take up to an extra 15 percent off storewide, now through wednesday.
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let me finish tonight with
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the lunch that they had at the white house today. i'm absolutely convinced that politics should have their limits. you fight over ethics and try to do your best to keep the other side honest and when you can, you take it away from the other side and try doing it bet yourself. that's the end of it. it's not about hating people and refusing to cooperate in the interest of the country. personally, i wish romney had left things the way he had on election night. he said all of the right things, didn't blame it on his running mate. he took the hit personally. it was class. he then had to go mess it all up by saying that the president made gifts by promising people who voted for him. anyway, it won't matter if obama found a use for romney. he did a good job in the olympics, he does have talent in putting organizations in fighting shape, just as obama has a community strength, especially on election day itself.

Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC November 29, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. (2012) New. (CC)

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